Definition of gruelling in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡrʊəlɪŋ/
(US grueling)


Extremely tiring and demanding: a gruelling schedule
More example sentences
  • Teams of between two and eight dogs will run at speeds of over 20 miles per hour around the gruelling four-mile course.
  • The documentary filmed them preparing for the latter, and their gruelling training regime was something to behold.
  • Plus, after a gruelling few days the creative juices were a little slack.
exhausting, tiring, fatiguing, wearying, enervating, taxing, draining, sapping, debilitating;
demanding, exacting, trying, difficult, hard, arduous, laborious, back-breaking, strenuous, harsh, severe, stiff, punishing, crushing, crippling, grinding, brutal, relentless, unsparing
informal killing, murderous, hellish
British informal knackering
rare exigent



Example sentences
  • Democrats - estranged from and ashamed of their progressive flank - wear themselves out to retain gains gruelingly won through nearly a century of grassroots action.
  • And it bred optimism among people who knew ruthless competition and gruelingly hard work.
  • Instead, I was gifted with the opportunity to endure the latest gruelingly stupid motion picture aimed at children who have been raised from infancy by a television set.


Mid 19th century: from the verb gruel 'exhaust, punish', from an old phrase get one's gruel 'receive one's punishment'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gruel|ling

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